Karl-Anthony Cities bounces again, Anthony Edwards erupts for 36 in Minnesota Timberwolves’ Sport 1 win

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Anthony Edwards dazzled in his postseason debut, and Karl-Anthony Cities turned in a powerful bounce-back recreation because the Minnesota Timberwolves upset the Memphis Grizzlies 130-117 in Sport 1 of their first-round playoff collection on Saturday.

“We did a superb job of taking part in our recreation, Timberwolves basketball,” Cities stated. “This was a workforce win. This occurred as a result of all of us got here in the present day with one objective in thoughts, and that was successful. I believed we performed plenty of successful basketball. We did plenty of little issues which are wanted to win. We must be very pleased with our efficiency.”

Edwards, the No. 1 choose within the 2020 NBA draft, scored 36 factors to grow to be the third-youngest participant with greater than 35 factors in a playoff recreation, behind solely Derrick Rose and Tyler Herro, in keeping with ESPN Stats & Info analysis. Edwards did his injury from everywhere in the court docket, draining 4 photographs from past the arc, making three baskets on the rim and changing 8 of 8 free throw makes an attempt in one of many extra auspicious coming-out events in latest NBA historical past.

“I instructed [teammate Taurean Prince] I deal with each recreation the identical,” Edwards stated. “I did not really feel any completely different — like a regular-season recreation to me.”

Cities, who struggled from the sector and with foul bother in Minnesota’s play-in victory Tuesday night time over the visiting LA Clippers, reversed his fortunes with an environment friendly 29-point, 13-rebound efficiency. He dominated Memphis heart Steven Adams, scoring on 9 of his 11 makes an attempt towards the Grizzlies’ stalwart huge man. It was a marked distinction to Cities’ uneven effort in Minneapolis.

“I am proud of the efficiency I had tonight,” Cities stated. “I simply actually really feel like that is what I am purported to do. It should not be one thing we must be celebrating, like, ‘Oh, you bought an opportunity to play a very good recreation on a nationwide stage. You need to be actually proud and excited.’ I am supposed to do this.”

In his postgame feedback, Cities emphasised Edwards’ uncanny shot-making, a capability to hit troublesome makes an attempt towards tight protection. On Saturday, eight of Edwards’ 12 made area objectives had been contested by Memphis defenders.

“He isn’t going to get a simple shot,” Cities stated. “For him to have the ability to take a number of dribbles within the playoffs and nonetheless get to his spot and make a shot, it is one thing that is particular. As a result of when you’re within the playoffs, normally the one-on-one dribble drives get taken away, and he is nonetheless discovering methods to get there. He is a particular expertise.”

Edwards’ shot likelihood — which measures the chance an try will probably be profitable — was the bottom among the many eight gamers within the recreation who tried greater than 10 area objectives, in keeping with Second Spectrum. But he completed with a wholesome efficient area objective share of 56%.

Nicely-aware of his fame for taking difficult, typically lower-percentage makes an attempt, Edwards quipped that he was fairly glad along with his food plan of photographs.

“I really like my photographs,” Edwards stated. “No matter shot I take, whether or not it is a step-back trey-ball or a step-back midrange or a floater or a layup — no matter my shot is — I prefer it. Generally, [Timberwolves coach Chris Finch] might not prefer it, however I really like my shot. I am simply trusting myself.”

The Timberwolves additionally belief Edwards, because the long-suffering Minnesota franchise goes up 1-0 in its quest to win a playoff collection for the primary time since 2004.

“When he is taking part in basketball at this sort of degree, he is virtually unstoppable,” Cities stated of Edwards, earlier than correcting himself. “He’s unstoppable, really.”

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